PathfinderPC General FAQ
- Is Pathfinder required to run my Axia network?
No, Axia networks are self-contained routing switchers that don’t require any external control. However, if you want to automate your routing switcher, with preset scene changes, conditional routing changes or scheduled route changes, Pathfinder will satisfy your needs.
- Why would I need routing automation?
Pathfinder lets you consolidate control of your network operations, bringing all of your equipment together under one simple interface. It takes all of your Axia nodes and equipment and presents it as if it were a traditional single router, so you don’t need to jump from place to place to see and manipulate your facility’s routing infrastructure.
- What kind of hardware and software is needed to run Pathfinder software?
You’ll need a 2.4 Ghz (or faster) PC with 1 Gigabyte of RAM and Windows Server 2003, minimum. Windows 2008 Server is supported and recommended. At least 40 Gb of free hard drive space is recommended. For single-server installations, we recommend equipping your PC with dual NICs to isolate your Axia network from the outside world, while allowing access to Pathfinder from outside your office. For two-server “clustering” of PathfinderPRO machines, we recommend four NICs in each server – one for your Axia network, one for your WAN, and two for crossover connections between the two servers
- I see that there are Pathfinder Servers and Clients. What’s the difference?
Pathfinder Server is the main application where you define your routing environment. Pathfinder Client is an interface that can run on PCs connected to the Axia network, allowing users to take control of your routing automation. Pathfinder lets you create custom user panels using a tool called Panel Designer, which can include buttons, labels, and any custom graphics you want to skin them with. The controls on these panels can then interact with the server to make routes, scene changes, display statuses, and a myriad of other tasks, and can be as simple or as complex as you like. These panels are available in Pathfinder Client, and provide users with a simple user interface for day-to-day tasks.
- What if i want to give talent access to just a few routing commands? Is there an app for that?
Yes; PathfinderPC Mini, a “user” application that’s included with Pathfinder. With PathfinderPC Mini , you can give talent access to just one predefined user panel. When you start PathfinderPC Mini it gets the panel from the Server, and displays it as a standalone application. This way, your users have only the commands you want to give them access to.
- Can I trigger routing changes from studio consoles?
Yes – there are a variety of drop-in modules for our popular Fusion and Element consoles that you can use to change single routes, or execute pre-defined salvos. Rack-mount panels make it convenient to map Pathfinder routing commands to hardware buttons located elsewhere, too – like your TOC, engineering office or communications room.
- Can Pathfinder sense dead air?
Yes, there’s a Silence Detect function. With it, you can pick any audio stream in your network – say, your Program-1 output – and monitor it for signal loss. “Silence” can be defined as any audio level you like. Once your “silence” condition is met, Pathfinder can take action by switching to a different audio input, flashing an alert to talent, sending you an e-mail, etc.
- Can Pathfinder react to a system command? I’m thinking about EAS activation…
Sure. You can define Stack Events, in which Pathfinder monitors GPI channels for external commands and takes action when predefined conditions are met. So you could use a Stack Event to watch the GPI output of your EAS decoder, and switch your main program output, along with your HD channels, to be fed by the output of your EAS gear until the GPI is released – upon which audio inputs are returned to their normal sources. Pathfinder can work with commands from your automation or playout systems, too.
- Will Pathfinder Client software run on the latest Windows OS?
Yes – Windows Vista and Windows 7 on up to Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 can run Pathfinder Client software. It will run on 64-bit operating systems too.
- What is the difference between the versions of Pathfinder?
PathfinderPC is the flagship router control application developed by Axia and Software Authority to control and automate Axia audio systems. It ships with all of the tools required to configure, route, and automate the routing of audio throughout your facility. PathfinderPRO expands on this capability with built in licensing and support for clustering (redundant Pathinder servers) and additional tools and capabilities. For a complete feature comparison see the feature comparison chart online, or in the Pathfinder brochure.
- I don’t need PathfinderPRO now, but i might in the future. Is there an upgrade path?
Yes, you can purchase an upgrade from PathfinderPC to PathfinderPRO from your Axia distributor.